What is Salvation and Why Do I Need to Saved?
The Romans Road of Salvation
A noted scholar and early first century Christian named Paul wrote a letter to the Romans through God’s inspiration to a vibrant church in the city of Rome. This letter is in the bible, in the New Testament. All the references listed below are taken from the New International Version translation of the bible. To help you understand what salvation is all about, we’ll be using quotes from this letter.
But first, here is one definition of salvation:
Restoration of our relationship with God through God’s actions of reconciliation so that we can be assured of God’s love and care now and beyond death. Christianity regards salvation as deliverance from bondage to sin and condemnation.
“As it is written: There is none righteous, no not one; ..”
“.. for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, ..”
“Therefore, just as through one man (Adam) sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned..”
The truth is that sin, as defined in the original translations of the Bible, means “to miss the mark.” The mark, in this case, is the standard of perfection established by God and evidenced by Jesus. Viewed in that light, it is clear that we are all sinners.
A lot of people have problems at this point. We tend to want to compare our life with others we know. We want to make sure everyone understands all the good works we have done. “Hey, I’m a nice person!”, we often say. None of that matters. The verses do not say we come short of the glory of man … the verses tell us we come short of the glory of God. As Christians, the standard we measure ourselves against is Jesus Christ, and no one measures up. But God knows that, He created us, and He loves us and he put in place a solution for this problem.
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
“You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance?”
In the times of the Old Testament, God required His people to give sacrifices for payment of their sins. In the times of the New Testament, God gave us His only Son, Jesus, as a perfect sacrifice for us. His death was payment for our sins. All that God asks is that a man or woman repent (acknowledge one’s wrong and turn away from it.) of his or her sins, turn from them, and accept the sacrifice Christ made on the cross for those sins. If we are not forgiven of our sins, we are condemned to death, which is to be apart from God eternally, which is hell. But if you accept Jesus as your personal Savior, you will be saved and have eternal life with God.
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.”
“… if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all that call upon Him. For who ever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh*, but according to the Spirit.”
In order to be saved, you must do the following:
Admit to God that you are a sinner. Believe that Jesus Christ – God’s perfect Son – was sent to earth to die for payment of your sins. Commit your life to Jesus. That is, repent (turn away from your sinful thoughts and sinful actions and ask forgiveness), and put Jesus in charge of your life by accepting Him as your Savior and Lord. This means to make Jesus the boss of your life, allowing Him to guide you and help you to live for Him.
How does a person become saved …. such an awesome thing as eternal salvation of your soul sounds incredibly simple. You must pray (talk to God). The exact words you say are not important. What is important is the fact you are confessing Jesus Christ as Lord of your life, by believing with your heart that He alone has the power to fix the messes in your life and He is willing to forgive you from your sins. Everyone needs to pray to God this way so they can be saved. Those who might be considered to be ‘good’ person by man’s standards and those prisoners on death row. You are saved by the grace of God alone, and nothing any person can do can change this.
A typical sinner’s prayer goes like this:
“Dear God, I know that I am a sinner and I’m lost without You. I know that I have not been what you want me to be. I am sorry for my sins, and I want to turn from my sins, I believe in my heart that Jesus Christ died for my sins, triumphed over death and rose from the grave. I will declare that He is Lord of my life. Please forgive me of my sins, come into my life, and help me be what You want me to be. I thank You Lord, and praise You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
Once you pray that prayer, what now?
Find a copy of the Bible and begin reading it. I recommend you begin with the ‘gospels’, which are the accounts of Jesus’ ministry on earth written by four of his followers: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Once you get to know Jesus’ life and his words, the rest of the bible will make a lot more sense to you. Ask God to help you understand the words, not only in your head but in your heart. By studying the Bible, you can know the will of God. There are many Bibles you can read online. Find a version of the bible you can understand.
Talk to God daily. Prayer is simply talking to God, telling him your problems, your joys and asking for his direction. There are many simple guides online that explain how to set aside a quiet time of your day to spend with God.
Find a Bible believing church in your area and call their office during office hours. Tell them that you committed yourself to following Christ and you’d like help in learning more about the practical ways you can walk out your new life.